Chapter 52442185

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Chapter NumberPART II. VII.
Chapter TitleDAVID KEITH AT HOME IN HARTLEY'S ROW.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article52442185
Full Date1893-03-18
Page Number3
Corrections0
Word Count4083
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleMorning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 - 1954)
Trove TitleUnder the Great Seal
article text

TALES AND 8KETCHES.

[KOW FIRST rtrULISIIED,]

UNDER THEGREAT SEAL,

A NOVEL,

lil JOSEPH HATTON.

Author ot " Clytie," " By Order of thc Czar,"

"Joliu Needham's Double," "Cruel Lon- don," &c.

[AU, BIGHTS UESEIWKD,]

PART IL

CHAPTEB VIL-DAVID KEITH, AT..HOME IN

HAHTTJUY'S BOW.

Since she had come, to live in Hartley's Row, Mildred's relaxation was in a neigh- bourly visit to Miss Mumford's house in tho corner, a model home clean os a pink, with relics of thc sea und u little library of books, s ime of which Mildred t honght a trifle worldly, hut with ail her religious faith and conduct she had u liberal mind and found relaxation in the best literature of the time.

Ohe often vent home loiter own two rooms,

with David's bright cheerful face in her mind, and his adventurous words in her memory. David talked to hor in a sense of confidence and without restrain, and he told her many stories of thc great world as he had read them in his miscellaneous Ixioks thu t interested her

and seemed to give her rest. She would often, when saying good-night, remark that David had done her good, rested lier mind, giving it a pleasant chango in taking it from thoughts of the sorrowful scenes that might await her

on thc morrow.

David liked Mildred very Hinch. There was something soothing, he would Kay, in the prison visitor's maimer, her voice was soft and sweet, and she liad eyes that gol over a. fellow, so to speak. He did not wonder at the influence ene possessed at thc Old Toll House and among tbepoor, not to mention thc fishermen, who actually went to her to say a prayer for them heforc putting out in stormy weather, or when thc signs of thc harvest of

thc sea were dubious.

" Do you know," said David one day, "that the prison visitor is really pretty *"

"She's comforting," was Miss Mumford's reply.

"I say she's pretty, Sally, dear. 1 saw her trudging away ou thc road from Caister. She did not sec mc. I walked behind her ever so far. Sbo pounded along. Do you know Bbc has big heavy shoes Í At least they looked big on her small feet. They were laced up like mine, and she had blue worsted stockings ; wears her petticoats short, yon know, so that she can get along. She stopped in the road to take out her packet of bull's-eyes and give some to a little boy and his sinter : and just then I came up and said, 'please Miss Mildred, may I not have one!' I said it in an assumed voice, you know, and when she turned round to see who it was, why she fairly blushed, and looked uncommonly pretty."

" Really," said Miss Mumford.

" Yes, really ! You know how palesho is as a rule ; they say that's with spending so much time in the bod air af thc Totl House- prison -I wish she wouldn't Well, I tell you, she blushed ; her cheeks were pink, and her eyes were bright as-"

" Elmira Webb's ?" said Miss Mumford, a trifle slyly.

" Oh well, altogether different, you know. Of course, Mira's eyes are the most beautiful in the world. Resides, the prison visitor's are grey, and Mira's are dark. What mode you say that, Sally Ï"

David broke off in thc midst of his account of meeting Mildred, feeling that Sally meant something more than appeared iii her ques-

tion.

" Oh, nothing that that I know of, David,"

enid his foster-mother. .

" I believe you don't like Mira," he said. " Not as well ns Mildred," said Solly.

?' Mildred ! Why that's a different matter, altogether. I like Mildred, of course, every- body does ; hut altogether in a different way from Mira Webb."

" Yes, of course," said Sally, " but what did Mildred say !"

" Oh, she said nothing for a miaute, but just gave mc a bull's-eye and blushed."

"Arc you sure she blushed ?" asked Sally, more for thc sake of saying something than with any special intention in . her question, " wns it not thc warmth of her walk ?"

" I was going to tell you,. Sally, dear, after sho had blushed and I had thought for the first time in my life how pretty -she was, she began to tell me about Mira.- she had been giving Mira a lesson on the spinet, and she raid Mira would one day be able to play and sing quite well, though sho confessed that it waa not cosy to get nice songs, and, of course, Mira did not care much for hymns. ' Why, I should think not,' I said, * not for general use, you know. I should not want to go to Webb's to hear Mira sing hymns.' "

"Idon't know," said Sally, "Mildred Hope sings hymns till she makes inc cry, they aro BO lovely."

" But I don't want to cry - why, here is the Prison Visitor," he said, as Mildred lifted thc latch, and in a sweet, small voice asked, "May I come in?"

" Why, of course," said David, Hinging the door wide open.

"Oh, Master David, it ie you; you ure home early."

" Yes," said David, " I haven't much time now before I sail, and I want to spend as much of it with dear mother Sally, and Mira, as I can possibly afford."

"Of course you do," said Mildred, as she patted the back of Sally's brown hand, which was extended to her by way of welcome. " I met Miss Webb this afternoon ; she was stop- ping for Sunday, sh» said, and asked me to accept a pound of tea for some of my poor

women." !

" How good of lier," said David, " but elie has a kind heart. Lias says the world don't contain a kinder, though he allowed thc Prison Visitor WAS a good little mawther, and true as compass, muk no doubt"

" Ah, I only wish I was worthy of all tho kind tbiugs people arc good enough to say of me," replied Mildred, taking a seat by the window, undoing her reticule and taking out a piece of unfinished embroidery.

" Now, my dear neighbour," said Sally, "that's just, a bit like what they calls pride as apes humility, for sure."

"Is it ?" said Mildred, " then I won't say it. again. What I moan, Master David, is that I would like to do athomrcnd limes more thau I do, to hove more strength, morcability, and moro money to take in, oh, such afield of duty ! But one muBt bc content."

"You arc quite ambitious in your ways," Baid David, " I am, too ; we oil arc, you know."

"And what is your particuhir ambition, Master David ?" Mildred nuked.

".Just at tine moment my ambition is to taste the fish Miss Mumford has for tea, and the cakes to follow," said David, laughing, "and, if yon will excuse inc, I will wash my hands and change my jacket."

"Yon will stay to tea*" remarked Sally, interrogatively-"

" Yes, dear, thatis.what Icamefor, besides thu pleasure of seeing you," said Mildred, smiling.

"Ah, my dear lass, thats what I like in you-it is making yersclf ut home and saying what you mean. I'll be sore put to it when David's gone, hut it'll bc a comfort to have yon come tu. "

When docs he go?" Midred asked, ply- ing her needle as Sally went in and out from parlour to kitchen, assisting her single domes- tic to dish up thc dinner-tea that was un institution of tho Row.

" Why, at thc end of the month ; sails from Bristol to Halifax, «htrc he is to meet the London trustée, who sailed this week, and who will go with bim to St. John's. Eh dear, I can't tell you how bailly I feel at thought of parting with him ; andi blame myself that I don't go with him, which, however, ho won't hear of ; says it would make him look silly, and us if ho had to be tied to my apron strings, and the like ; and now that he's engaged to Elmira Webb, and talks of marriage, he has

corne to bo masterful t well, of course, that's to he expected of a high-spirited lad who's growing into manhood.

"Ho will make Elmira Webb a very good husband, forbearing and affectionate, said

Mildred

?'That he will ¡ but she ¡ena worthy of him -good looks ! Ves, thatmay bc, buttoofondof fallalls, and calculated to make a proud lad jealous."

" Do you think so ?"

" I am sure so," said Sally, " but what are you to do when a lad's heart is cuguged, and when you love him that well that you don't like to give him a minute's paiu 1 but ch, my dear, it will bo a sad day, I fear mc, for David

Keith when he toke Elmira Webb for better or worse."

It was a cosy room, with an out-look along the court-like yard of the upper .end of Hartley's Row, the door opening Hush upon thc white pavements, the kitchen having a red bricked yard at tho back ; all the windows full of flowers in rcd-rodtltcd pots ; flags and rushes in thc parlour fireplace ; tall brass candlesticks umi coloured ornaments on the tall mantelshelf : un old Hitit gun, u pair of pistols and a pike lixed upon brackets on thu

clean and whitewashed wall ; here and there un engraving in u black frame ; a case or two of stuffed birds ; and a case ortwo of Ash ; in one corner a glazed bookcase ; in thc middle of thc mom a round table with a polished top, now covered with gold and white china cups and saucers, and white plates ; u tall copper urn uttering a kind of purring sound, and omitting little pulls of steam. On one side of the room a large well-stuffed sofa ; on the other a small sideboard flanked with high

liacked old oak chairs.

" You muslulvruys luivc been a good house- keeper," said Mildred, as Sally placed upon thc table a dish of deliciously fried mackerel flanked with bunches of fennel, nnd accom- panied by a sance that scorned to address an

invitation to the board.

" Ready, David," said Sally, opening the staircase door and calling to David, who came hurrying down in a loose serge jacket and trousers, with a white handkerchief tied in a sailor's knot about his neck, and looking the beau ideal of a strong and happy- young

Englishman. ¡

" Nour, Miss Hope," he said, offering her a chair and taking one himself opposite to Sally, "do you like fennel suucoï That's right, I knew there would bc fennel sauce, I smelt it tho moment I came in. What, a fine thing it is to be hungry, ch ?"

"When you have no difficulty in getting the food you want," said Mildred, taking from David a plate of tish, while Sally poured out the tea.

"Yes, of course," said David, "it makes one feel selfish to think that there are people who can't get bread, let alone mackerel, fennel

sauce and hot cakes to follow-and such cakes ! I wish everybody could have all they want ; but as that m impossible we must be forgiven for taking what the Lord provides as you would say, Miss Hope."

David was in great spirits. He atc his fond with a relish, praised it, pressed more upon Mildred, complained that Miss Mumford was not enjoying ber tea, and when thc repast w as over announced that he was off to Caister ; lie not only wanted to see Mira, but he looked to have a talk with Zacchcus about the IJristol

ship in which lie was to sail to Halifax and

St. John's.

" " David lakes after both his father and bis mother," said Sally, when thc boy bad started on" on his walk to Caister, " but lie's got his father's hankering ufter adventure :. it was that os induced bis grandfather Plympton to have him educated for the law, thiokiug UB it would keep him to Iiis moorings; but ho for- got us thc sea makes il natural for a lad to desire to roam. It wu» murryin as kept his father at home und would ha done, but for the persecution that Heart's Deligh t «'assubject to, and which didn't stopshort there bu t followed ou to Heart's Coûtent ; ch, it's If ng ago but it seems like yesterday ! David was au infant iu arms ; I hear os there's great chances since, that, settlers may till thc ground and build of brick as some hos done where brick's to be {gotten ; it's a pity life's so short a span ; it's

lard when folks that's borne the Iicataud sweat of it has to nick room for them os comes in.for fruits of their labour and suffering."

Miss Mumford went on talking to herself aud Mildred, while she and thc servant were putting the tea-things away aud making the room tidy. Mildred sat on thc little sofa, at work upon ber embroidery, bul she gave full attention to Sally's thoughts and reminis-

cences.

"I wish 1 could sec fair prospects for David," said Sally, closing thc kitchen door on the domestic, folding un her aprou, and placing it in a little press beneath tho stair- way, ".' hausuni is as hansom doea' they Bay hi Lincolnshire, and I wish I could feel a real hit of honest faith in Miss Elmira Webb."

" Her father loves her to blindness of every fault," said Mildred, " such a girl without the guidingioveof aiuotlierisatgreatdisad vantage in a sinful world, and is much to bu pitied."

" It isna a matter of religion as I'm think-] ing on," said Sally. "Ive knowed good,

honest folk who might be ca'd anything but J religious ; why, our David is hard to get to chapel once u Sundays ; may bc that's on account of his father and mother being Catholics, though his father was nothing when first ho came to Heart's Delight ; lirst Mass he went to was for her sake ; I do believe he'd been a Mahomcdun or a Hottentot if she'd ha beeb of that

way of tbinkin' he loved her to that desper-

ation."

" I don't hold with an outward neglect of religion, even if there is a natural inward and spiritual grace," said Mildred, " I think, if only for example's sake, the Lord's day should bc observed ; not that souls may not bc saved that never prayed in church or chapel ; what- ever our creed, we arc all worshipping (Jod, and I don't think He will take particular note of tho manner of thu worship if our conduct goes hand in band with our religious profes-

sions." -

"There 1« some," Sally replied, "who count to be saved hy faith ; but I believe in deeds, Mildred, and I um sure you do."

"Faith and deeds," Mildred replied, " always remembering thc rightful aud dili- gent usc of the talents with which thc Master

entrusts his ncrvanrs."

"Do you ever thiuk of marrying!" Sally asked, suddonly arresting Mildred's needle in thc very heart of thc silken rose.

" It is a strange question," Mildred replied, with the slightest tinge of colour in her pale cheeks ; undoo it was having regard to tbeuun like appearance of thc girl. It has been already noted thal she dressed in u very simple fashion, suggesting thc Quaker garb : il was also convent-like in its simplicity. There was that calm resignation in tho expression of thc girl's face that is mostly sccu iu the countenances of dovout sisters who have given their lives to Holy Church ; and yet it was an inviting calm ness,not in Ute least austere. The deep, dark eyes were full of a sympathetic light, thc well formed month gcnorims in its outline, tho lips red ; und tho most fashionable beauty might lia vc envied Mildred's whituand regular teeth. Her voice was sweet and musical, and for poor people hud a kind of fascination that belongs to a well-played recd instrument. When she prayed, us sile ilid now und then nt some public assembly, such as the occasional con- gregation of sailors on a Sunday evening, un thcueach before thc fishing, her soul wns in lier words. Her supplications rose und fell with the cadence of a lovely chant ; yet in har relationship with thc people nnd with her friend-* she had, as we have seen, none nf thu fconctity of manner or conversation that carried even au unconscious rebuke to thc most sinful. She was un frank and familiar terms with all the coast, and the respect she received on all lui lids was not. in any way lessened by her free und happy manner.

Sally Mumford WHS in a peculiar mood. Her remalliB made Mildred w.itchfiiland some- what on her gourd.

" I never mari ied bcciuw I hada mission. I was married to my duty. David was my mission, (tod bless him, MR hoblcssed his saintly ?lother. Hut why ehonld'nt you marry, Mildred?"

"I am also married to my duty," said Mildred, looking up at Miss Mumford with a questioning, wistful expression in her eyes,

" But marriage need not hinder your work. Oh to see you and David como together !"

Mildred felt ber heart almost stop boating as she bent her head over her embroidery, not daring to look up.

" David is fond of you ; hell get tired bf yonder Caister gel !" .

" Why are you saying these things Ï" Mildred asked, her lips slightly parted as she looked into Sally's calm face.

" Because my heart prompts mc," said Sally.

" I wonder why your heart dictates such thoughts?"

" Because it loves yon Mildred, and because it beats night and day for David Keith, ita one hope and love, hil dear, I dou't know what's come over me this night-teems as if I feared some harm's going to happen David, and seems as if you could save him !

" Let IIB pray for him, Sally dear, and ask (¡od and tho Saviour for guidance," replied Mildred, as she rose aud put her arm» around the trim old spinster.

They knelt together by the chair in which Sally hod been Bitting, knelt hand in bund, and each offered up a silent prayer which was

more the outcome of a Budden emotion than au act of worship or petition. Their ht «rt*

were fun to over/lowing with a tendor solici-

tude that naturally found vent in priver. The. itnpidsc and thc motive were inspired hy thoughts of David's Keith's imminent voyago across thc Atlantic.

. fVo lie c/iutiiiwd.)

IIKM1XDED OF HIS DEAD MOTUKJI.

[FATltACT FliOM A 1'IHVATF. LKTTI'.K.]

It was thu latter part of August, 1891. A friend aud 1 hud come down from Batm-j.K.' to Minster, to «ce the venerable church I ¡ture, which isa thousand years old. 1 entered thu churchyard and seated myself upon-u nunn-leta grave while we went in search of somebody to

unlock thc doors of the edifice and show its wonders. In a few minutes he returned in

company with, an elderly lady, to whom he introduced me, saying she was the custodian and guide of thc place. 1 gazed at her face for some moments without a word. If iny own mother, dead and gone fifteen years, hud come back to speak to her only son, I should

scarcely have been more astonished. For thia - woman was almost my mother's double; the Bamc size, thc same face, nnd the aamu way of parting the hair and combing it in smooth bands from the forehead. 1 told her so, and we wero friendB before either fairly knew the other's name. What a queer world it is.

She then conducted us through thc ancient fane, and spoke of thc long vanished past, of thc monks aud nuns who once sang, and prayed within its walls, of lltequainl carvings on thc hard oak Keats in thc chancel, nf that precious relic, the Cranmer Bible, which re- poses in a glass box ugainsl u pillar, and of many matters beeide«, drawn from the apparently cxhaustlcss well of her detailed and accurate information.

Finally thc talk versed round to the whole- someness of thc vicinity, thc bracing nature of its sea breezes and sn on. Then our guido, Mrs. Sarah Herd said :.- " I have lived here in Minster fifty years and seen many nps and downs. One of my sons is now in America,, where he he is doing well. Ile wants rae to leave England and make my home with him, but I doubt if lever shall. lara somewhat like that old yew tree out in the.yard, deeply rooted to this soil, and might be the worse for pulling np. Then I am getting on in life, ant1 ills grow apace with agc. Jn (lie spriug of 187S I had a serious attack. At first I scarcely knew what to make of it. There was no disease that I recognised in particular. I felt tired in body and weary in minti.

There was much pain at my chest and back,. and a kind of tightness at the sides, as though physical force were applied there to restrain mc from.moving. My appetite, which was. usually good, fell away ; and whatever I atc or drank gave me pain, and I lived almost entirely ou bread and water. J. was always in pain and couldn't sleep so as to foci refreshed by it. After a time I grew sn weak, as tobe unable to get ubout my work. A bitter and . sickening fluid arose into my. mouth! aud I perspired to such an extent that thc sweat sometimes rolled off my face

to the floor."

I (the writer) break in upon Mrs. Herd's, story at this point merely to say that thia tendency to sweat without thc provocation of labour or of exercise is always a sign of a debilitated condition of the system.

It means that thc blood is impure mid impoverished, the kidneys working badly, and that thc body lacks nourishment and is living feebly on what was previously stored-in it. In other words, the stomach hus refused its duty, und the other organsarcin sympathy with it. Sow we will let thc lady proceed, begging pardon for thc interruption.

t>lie went on to say :-" Fora time 1 tried to cure myself with various domestic remedies . which sometimes answer. But they failed, and I consulted a physician, With uti respect to the doctors, tiley occasiouslly fnil too. This one did. You know there comes a time in all long illnesses when we get in some way used to pain and misery, and make no further efforts to get rid of it. In fact, wc dou't know how, and so don't try. For about three years I remained wretched and ailing, and dull unhappy years they were. My sufferings were beyond ell 'I had ever known before, yet there seemed nothing to do but to bear them os patiently as I could. At this date, 1881, certain friends of minc Bpoke to mo of thc great benefit they had received from the usc of Motlier Siegel's Syrup, for indigestion and dyspepsia. This threw light on my mind, although I cannot say it mode meat once a believer in Siegel's Syrup. At length, however, in July, 1881, 1 began to take it In all I used.6¡x bottles, and found my health fully restored. Ten years have clapBed, and I have had no attack since. But if I do in future I shall know where to put my hand on thc remedy.'

Our visit being virtually over, we called for a few moments ut Mi's. Herd's home, 2, High Street, Minster. Kent, und then wended our way back to Kamagate.

C. M. B. Nciv York, October, 1891.